Finger Painting Gift Ideas

Master R and I have been busy painting in the lead up to Christmas. We have been making a few special presents for special people in his life. I love giving Art as a gift as it can be totally child-made and family (Grandparents especially) can't seem to get enough! On top of that babies just love the sensory experience of finger painting and I must admit that I love seeing little hands and feet covered in bright colours!

Finger painting gift ideas

Some of you may be recoiling at the idea of painting with a 12 month old, the mess you say?! Oh yes, there is mess! But by realising that beforehand and being prepared it is not as bad as you may think.

Finger painting After photo

Here are my top tips for painting with a baby:

1 - If your baby has a dummy then use it!
This prevents paint covered hands or brushes going into the mouth.

2 - Create a big space where paint can be spread. 
I do this in two ways, either outside on the grass, or inside over an old double sized sheet.

3 - Dress yourself and your baby in old clothes.
We have specific 'painting clothes' that we use each time. If it is warm enough though dress baby in just a nappy, painting their tummy and legs is half the fun anyway!

4 - Prepare for clean up before hand.
For me this means having a bath ready to go so all we have to do is strip off and jump in.

5 - Don't try and take photos mid painting session! 
Spend the time focused on your baby and take after shots to remember the fun (or should I say mess!)

6 - Make sure the paint you use is washable.
Not so that your clothes end up clean but so that it is easy to wash off of your skin. Most poster paints will say washable on them and reliably come off.

Drop sheet for painting with babyFinished finger painting

Now that you know my tips to paint with baby in a stress free way you can start thinking about projects to make. I like to keep it simple, but this time I also wanted it to be a little more special than just paint on paper.

For the first gift (which was a housewarming gift to Grandma) I purchased a large canvas from a cheap discount store.

Canvas and paint covered brush

I laid the canvas in the middle of the old sheet, put dark blue, aqua and green paint into containers with thick paint brushes, dressed Master R in his nappy and let him go for it. He especially enjoyed painting his body with the brush but also managed to create a fantastic painting (not that I'm biased) on the canvas with his very own signature foot print!
*Be aware that paint is extremely slippery, you need to be there to prevent them from sliding and falling over.

Paint footprints

And of course, Grandma adored the painting which is proudly on display in the grandkids/guest bedroom!

Finger painted canvas

The second painting gift that we made came from an idea for Hand Painted Fridge Magnets for Toddlers to Make from Happy Hooligans. I used A4 canvas sheets from a discount store and spare advertising magnets that we already had which is a slightly different way of doing it. To find out how to finger paint without ending up with a brown painting make sure you click through to the link, it made a big difference to our paintings and I love the results we ended up with because of it!

Colourful finger paintings
FInger painted magnets

When gifting these magnets I made sure that Master R was the one to hand the gift over, he may only be 12 months and may not understand exactly what is happening but I don't think children are ever too young to start participating in the joy of giving!

For more inspiration and finger painted gift ideas follow these links:

- Tape resist canvases at As Time Flies

- Bookmarks for a book lover at Small + Friendly

- Mod Podge coasters at Merriment Design

- Framed paintings with cut-outs at Bliss n Misc

You could also finger paint the mat inside a frame and add a photo, there is an example of this on Pinterest but unfortunately the original link tracks to a forum.

Christmas is less than 10 days away now but most of these ideas would be very easy to complete for last minute gifts that you need!

Tell me, do you love messy art with your kids or does the thought of it scare you? Let me know in the comments or pop on over to my Facebook page and share there! And don't forget to look at our homemade wrapping paper to wrap your beautiful presents!



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